Exposures to diacetyl, a primary ingredient of butter flavoring, have been shown to cause respiratory disease among workers who mix flavorings. This study focused on evaluating ventilation controls designed to reduce emissions from the flavor mixing tanks, the major source of diacetyl in the plants. Five exhaust hood configurations were evaluated in the laboratory: standard hinged lid-opened, standard hinged lid-closed, hinged lid-slotted, dome with 38-mm gap, and dome with 114-mm gap. Tracer gas tests were performed to evaluate quantitative capture efficiency for each hood. A perforated copper coil was used to simulate an area source within the 1.2-meter diameter mixing tank. Capture efficiencies were measured at four hood exhaust flow rates (2.83, 5.66, 11.3, and 17.0 cubic meters per minute) and three cross draft velocities (0, 30, and 60 meters per minute). All hoods evaluated performed well with capture efficiencies above 90% for most combinations of exhaust volume and cross drafts. The standard hinged lid was the least expensive to manufacture and had the best average capture efficiency (over 99%) in the closed configuration for all exhaust flow rates and cross drafts. The hinged lid-slotted hood had some of the lowest capture efficiencies at the low exhaust flow rates compared to the other hood designs. The standard hinged lid performed well, even in the open position, and it provided a flexible approach to controlling emissions from mixing tanks. The dome hood gave results comparable to the standard hinged lid but it is more expensive to manufacture. The results of the study indicate that emissions from mixing tanks used in the production of flavorings can be controlled using simple inexpensive exhaust hoods.
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